National Joint Committee Press Release on UNHRC Resolution 30/1
National Joint Commission – NJC has issued a strongly worded press release on the one-sided UNHRC Resolution 30/1 issued on Sri Lanka. The NJC stated in the press release that Sri Lanka is the only county in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that has sponsored a resolution against itself. The UNHRC Resolution 30/1 was cosponsored by the Sri Lankan delegation headed by the then Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on 1st October 2015 at Geneva despite President Sirisena the Head of State repeatedly dissociating his government from the said resolution though he conveniently refrained from taking remedial measures even after the United States of America left the UNHRC accusing it of being a cesspool of political bias.
The full text of the press release issued by National Joint Commission is as follows;
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National Joint Committee Press Release on UNHRC Resolution 30/1
Sri Lanka is the only county in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that has sponsored a resolution against itself. The UNHRC Resolution 30/1 was cosponsored by the Sri Lankan delegation headed by the then Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on 1st October 2015 at Geneva despite President Sirisena the Head of State repeatedly dissociating his government from the said resolution though he conveniently refrained from taking remedial measures even after the United States of America left the UNHRC accusing it of being a cesspool of political bias.
There is little doubt that the Western powers engineered a regime change in January 2015 to ensure the passage of the said Geneva Resolution meant to facilitate a constitutional process tailor made by the West to federate a unitary State. Their intention was to utilize the Sirisena Wickramasinghe government to enact the necessary legislation for this very purpose. However several patriotic organizations including the National Joint Committee (NJC) worked tirelessly to educate the people regarding this surreptitious effort which resulted in majority of the people totally opposing the steps taken by the Sri Lanka government to cosponsor the UNHRC Resolution 30/1.This was made evident at both the Local Government Elections held in February 2018 and the Presidential Elections held in November 2019.
The people in most parts of the country except the North and East overwhelmingly voted for Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Election and he won with a majority of 1.3 million votes. This victory has given the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government an opportunity to place all the available credible facts not only before the North and East Tamil electorate but also before Geneva to disprove the primary war crimes allegation by UNSG Panel of Experts (PoE) that 40000 Tamil civilians were killed as a result of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government deliberately targeting that community.
This PoE report prepared in March 2011 by Marzuki Darusman (Chairman) Stevan R. Ratner and Yasmin Zooka for the explicit purpose of only briefing the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was purposely leaked out to the public domain to tarnish the image of the Sri Lanka Security Forces by accusing them of killing 40000 Tamil civilians. This PoE Report also prevented examination/verification of these unsubstantiated accusations collected under mysterious circumstances for a period of 20 years commencing from 31st March 2011.
The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) contradicted the PoE assertion that 40000 civilians perished in the offensive. The UNCT on the basis of information secured from those based in wartime Vanni, placed the number of dead at 7721 and wounded at 18470. In September 2011 Amnesty International headquartered in London placed the number of civilian deaths at 10000. However Sri Lanka Department of Census found that about 7400 people had died of undefined or other causes and that 2600 people had gone missing during the first five months of 2009.
In response to calls from the international community to have a credible domestic investigation process the Mahinda Rajapaksa government initiated the 2nd Mandate of the Maxwell Paranagama Presidential Commission of Inquiry that was completed in August 2015 securing the services of several leading internationally renowned legal and military experts like Sir Desmond De Silva Q.C., Professor David Crane, Sir Geoffrey Nice Q.C. and Major General John Holmes, the former Commander of the SAS to provide assistance to the Commission with regard to international humanitarian law, international human rights law, customary international law and the laws of armed conflict generally. It remains a mystery as to why this comprehensive report which negate the allegations in the PoE Report was not taken into consideration when the final version of the HRC Report was released to the public on 16th of September 2015. The Sirisena Wickramasinghe government instead of making use of the available facts in the 2nd Mandate of the Maxwell Paranagama Presidential Commission of Inquiry to clear the Security Forces of alleged war crime charges co-sponsored the UNHRC Resolution on 1st October 2015 to assist the Western Powers to implement their neo-colonial strategy.
When the UN Permanent Representative for Sri Lanka in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha was given the draft of the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 he found fault with it but was told to endorse it by the Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera whose only objective was to please the Western Powers that made the 2015 regime change possible in Sri Lanka.
In October 2017 Lord Naseby informed the House of Lords that there was no basis for the PoE claim of 40000 civilian deaths in the Vanni based on British wartime dispatches from Colombo sent by Colonel Gash from January to May 2009. He retreated during the recent Queen’s Speech in the House of Lords in January 2020 that around 6000 Tamil civilians were killed and that quarter of them would have been LTTE combatants. He also said that reports of Colonel Gash made it clear that the Sri Lanka Army behaved admirably and looked after the civilians. He further said that the Sri Lanka Army would not have brought 295000 Tamil civilians safely across the lines if they wanted to knock them off. Why did the Sirisena Wickramasinghe government fail to make use of the revelations made by Lord Naseby and request the help of the British government to establish the truth by releasing the entire set of dispatches sent by Colonel Gash to clear the Security Forces of Sri Lanka of war crimes allegations?
In June 2011 at the first defence seminar held after the end of the Eelam war the US Defence Advisor in Colombo Lt Col. Lawrence Smith questioned the very basis of allegations including the execution of surrendering LTTE terrorists directed at the Sri Lanka Army. Both the Army and the External Affairs Ministry pathetically failed to take notice that there couldn’t have been a better defense for Sri Lanka than a top US representative publicly denouncing false propaganda directed at Sri Lanka.
The ICRC head of operations for South Asia Jacque de Maio during a confidential conversation on 9th July 2009 with the US Ambassador Clint Williamson based in Geneva had said that the Army was determined not to let the LTTE escape from the shrinking territory even though this meant that civilians being kept hostage by the LTTE were at an increasing risk and as a result there were serious widespread violations of international humanitarian law but that it did not amount to genocide and that he could cite examples of where the Army had stopped shelling when the ICRC informed them it was killing civilians. He had further said that the Army actually could have won the military battle faster with higher civilian casualties, yet that it chose a slower approach which led to a greater number of Sri Lanka Army deaths. Based on this information Ambassador Clint Williamson had sent a cable to the US State Department on 15th July 2009 clearing the Sri Lanka Army of crimes against humanity.
Majority of the people in Sri Lanka are aware of these facts and are expecting the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government to withdraw from its co-sponsorship of Resolution 30/1 at the very next sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva since it has brought disrepute to the heroic Security Forces personnel of Sri Lanka who defeated the world’s most ruthless terrorist organization sacrificing their blood, sweat, tears and toil and sometimes even their very life and limb to protect and preserve the unity and territorial integrity of their motherland for posterity.
Lt Col. A. S. Amarasekera (Rtd.)
10th February 2020.